In Spanish, the verb “to hope” is esperar. It also means “to wait” and “to wish.” I love that in this language, this anticipatory feeling is encompassed in this one word.
10 years ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “25 Things I Hope For.”
I re-read this and was blown away about how these hopes have translated into dreams coming true or simple enduring facts of life that I take for granted now. When you read these, imagine you are holding a handful of seeds about to be planted and you can fast forward to the future to see what kinds of trees grew from them. Some seeds don’t grow into what you expected. Regardless if what I hoped for came to reality, these are all the moments before the miracles that unfolded over the last decade.
I have reposted it here with some of my current reflections on these past hopes and I have written the updates in bold.
25 Things I Hope For:
- I hope my kids will always want to hang out with me even if they don’t have to. Check. In fact, they tend to curl up on the fetal position and snuggle into me whenever they see me alone, no matter how big they are or they want me to tell them a story or listen to their stories.
- I hope I will never lose hope. Check.
- I hope #4 will one day sleep in a bed other than my own. Check…unless Dad is away then they all take turns “keeping me company.”
- I hope, if nothing else, my kids grow up to be compassionate and grateful. Check. Although there are lapses, they are above average compassionate and grateful people.
- I hope she never lets anyone take away her sparkle. Check. #3 shines differently – she is able to dazzle us with her words and insights now and less with her twirls and show tunes.
6. I hope my extended family will remain close (and that forgiveness doesn’t mean you say it’s ok, it just means we can all spend Christmas together finally). Half-check. The deaths of my grandparents shifted things a little and we also didn’t go to Toronto for Christmas this year.
7. I hope my girls will always respect and love who they are, and that they are worthy of being treated with respect and love. Check. I realized that I am their role model for that and the way my husband treats me and the way I treat myself will always be their standard that they measure everything against.
8. I hope that I will never be able to drive Ever-Patient away once and for all because of my momentary lapses of sanity and rationality. Check. Personally, I think he finds my momentary lapses of sanity and rationality cute which is why he still sticks around…or maybe it’s because I have him stuck in the jungle with me – my latest example of a lapse of rationality. We will reach this milestone this year: 25 years to LIFE…and no possibility of parole.
9. I hope my parents – my mother, my father, and my step-father – are happy. Still hoping. I know they miss us and things have changed just in the last year but I have also learned that I am not responsible for anyone’s happiness but my own.
10. I hope this one will learn to take risks. Check. She has three jobs where two of them she has to speak Spanish.
11. I hope the girls outgrow High School Musical very soon…or Mama will have more momentary lapses in sanity. Sadly no…so I just banned it from ever being watched in my presence again.
12. I hope the girls NEVER outgrow family time in the basement. Sadly I outgrew it…it was tough to say goodbye to that house and basement. This was a heartbreaking time in our life. They often talk about those days in the basement – the days when they were all little and I set up everything there so I could lay on the sofa with the newest baby while they played dress-up, or played in the play kitchen, or did their arts and crafts. It was a room where we would have family sleeps on a hot summer night or fold laundry together.
13. I hope I never have all the answers. Check. I am not even close but I have learned to LOVE asking the questions.
14. I hope, 40 years from now, I can look back and say I lived a life that I am proud of. I can look back 10 years and say I lived a life that I am proud of.
15. I hope these yahoos look out for each other…always.The Gang. Check. These cousins still hang out and talk. I am so grateful my cousins and I nurtured these relationships as they were growing up.
16. I hope I never lose sight of what is important. (Whenever I am bothered by something, I ask myself if it would still bother me so much if I knew I only had a month to live. This is a good way to maintain a little perspective.). Check. It has become a lifelong practice.
17. I hope Ever-Patient and I are BFFs….and ever and ever and ever. Check. Still BFFs. But not the BFFs that call each other up to go for dinner but the kind that you can be your shittiest self with and they say, ”Bring it on. I am not going anywhere.”
18. I hope to one day fit into my size 24 skinny jeans. Not a chance. I think after #5, my hips have made this hope an physical impossibility.
19. I hope to complete a triathlon…one day. (Completing this would probably help in fulfilling hope #18.). Nope. I am still afraid of swimming in open water which I have learned to accept. But I have completed a half marathon and hiked the West Coast Trail.
20. I hope I will continue to document both the banal and significant details of my life and that by reading all of it in the future, my girls will understand the source of their neuroses and complexes. Check. I am so grateful I have documented this journey for my girls and my son.
21. I hope my kids will finally give up on the idea that we will one day get a dog. Eyeroll. We have three dogs and two cats.
22. I hope she will slow down the whole growing up thing. It’s KILLING her father. Nope. Ten years feel fast when we look at her today and this picture of her entering her double digits. In a few months, she will turn 21. So many more hopes for her as she enters adulthood.
23. I hope for peace. Check. I wake up every morning and sit on my and feel at peace.
24. I hope to have a deck and a finished backyard for the summer…which would be a fantastic birthday and anniversary gift (hint hint EPO). Check. See above…I spend almost all my time on our deck and “backyard.”
25. I hope that jean jacket and flip flop weather arrives soon. I hate socks. Check. I live in the land of flip flops and summer forever.
There you have it. (Although some of these hopes sound more like desperate prayers.)
You may have noticed that the above hopes don’t mention our son. Well, he wasn’t even a thought…yet. I will have an updated version of my current hopes this week.
What are your hopes? And if you haven’t written them down yet, what are you waiting for? Plant those seeds. They’ll need time to grow.